Schering Stiftung

Prize winner 

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Ernst Schering Prize 2023

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Ernst Schering Prize 2023
Photo: Helmholtz Munich/Matthias Tunger

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Ernst Schering Prize 2023

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Ernst Schering Prize 2023
Photo: Matthias Tunger Photodesign

Matthias Tschöp

Ernst Schering Prize 2023

Matthias Tschöp

Ernst Schering Prize 2023

The physician-scientist Matthias Tschöp can boast of a number of groundbreaking achievements in the field of metabolic research. Besides his discovery in 2000 of the hunger hormone ghrelin, Tschöp and his long-term collaborator, the biochemist Richard DiMarchi, discovered a new therapeutic class of dual and triple gut hormone drugs, the so-called polyagonists, whose first version was approved in the United States last year. More than ten further polyagonists are currently in clinical trials, promising a new era of metabolic medicine. For the first time, widespread diseases such as obesity and diabetes can be effectively treated with these drugs, thereby significantly reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

Matthias Tschöp is CEO and scientific director at Helmholtz Munich, Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and Helmholtz Vice President of Health Research.

The Schering Stiftung awards him the Ernst Schering Prize 2023 for his discovery of the hunger hormone ghrelin his dissection of the signaling pathways between gut and brain, as well as for the resulting discovery of of new classes of drugs that for the first time make it possible to normalize body weight and blood sugar levels in patients with obesity.

Matthias Tschöp was nominated for the Ernst Schering Prize by the president of the Helmholtz Association, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. mult. Otmar D. Wiestler.

Tschöp’s conceptual and experimental approaches are located at the interface of cutting-edge metabolism research and translational personalized medicine. Tschöp serves as a uniquely inspiring example of a physician-scientist who in his daily clinical work recognized a specific, unmet medical need (obesity) and decided to go into science to dissect the underlying pathophysiology. He discovered essential signaling pathways (hunger hormone ghrelin) and novel classes of therapeutics targeting the gut-brain axis. These so-called polyagonists turned out to the the best-in-class agents worldwide to treat obesity, allowing full medical control of human body weight.

Matthias Tschöp, MD, trained at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. After a research fellowship at Eli Lilly (Indianapolis, USA, 1999-2002), he started his own laboratory at the German Institute of Human Nutrition (Potsdam, 2002-2003). At the University of Cincinnati (USA, 2003-2011) he advanced to Research Director and Endowed Chair of Medicine. He then was jointly recruited back to Germany by Helmholtz Munich and the Technical University of Munich, where he holds an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. Today he is also CEO of Helmholtz Munich and Vice President of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. He holds an adjunct professorship at Yale University.

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Side events 

Obesity and Diabetes: How to Stay Healthy?

September 06, 2023
Lecture to high-school students

Schulfarm Insel Scharfenberg, Berlin-Tegel (not open to the public)


“Matthias Tschöp is passionate about searching for new principles and paradigm shifts. There is no room for mediocrity in his research. He knows how to get his collaborators excited about and engaged in his ambitious goals.”

Prof. Dr. Günther Wess

Public Scientific Lecture

Lecture — September 06, 2023

This year's Ernst Schering Prize Laureate, Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, will present his latest research results to a scientific audience.

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Award Ceremony 2023

Award ceremony — September 05, 2023

The Schering Stiftung awards the Ernst Schering Prize to the physician-scientist Matthias Tschöp. The Friedmund Neumann Prize goes to the human genetics researcher Na Cai.

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Ernst Schering Prize Lecture 2023

Lecture — September 05, 2023

Prof. Tschöp presents his innovative metabolic research and the discovery of novel therapeutics that for the first time have the potential to control the global obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemic.

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Curriculum vitae

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp

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Ernst Schering Prize Jury 

Max Löhning (*1969) carries out research at the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, as well as at the German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin (DRFZ), where he directs the Pitzer Laboratory of Osteoarthritis Research, which is funded by the Willy Robert Pitzer Stiftung and the Dr. Rolf M. Schwiete Stiftung. Foundations have played a major role throughout his career. As a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), he studied biology in Mainz and earned his doctorate in 2000 at the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne with research stays at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. After a postdoc at the Institute of Experimental Immunology at ETH/University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland, which was supported by the Schering Stiftung, he moved to Berlin to serve as Volkswagen Foundation-funded Lichtenberg Professor at the Charité before he was appointed Professor of Experimental Immunology and Osteoarthritis Research in 2012. Max Löhning is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) where he has served as Spokesperson of its Biological and Medical Science Class since 2017. In addition, he is a member of the board of the Deutsche Rheumastiftung, a former member of Die Junge Akademie at the BBAW and of the Leopoldina – German National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of several science awards.


Carl-Henrik Heldin has, since 1992, been professor in Molecular Cell Biology at Uppsala University, Sweden. Between 1986 and 2017, he was the Branch Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala. Professor Heldin is the chair of the Boards of the Nobel Foundation, the Science for Life Laboratory, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. His research interest is related to the mechanisms of signal transduction by growth regulatory factors, as well as their normal function and role in disease. An important goal is to explore the possible clinical utility of signal transduction antagonists.


Britta Eickholt has been Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin since 2011. She received her doctorate in 1998 at Guy's Hospital in London. In 2001, she received a lectureship at King's College London and started her own research group at the MRC Center for Developmental Neurobiology. She was appointed Professor of Molecular Neurobiology at King's College in 2010, before her move to Berlin in 2011. Her research focusses on the signaling mechanisms that regulate dynamic processes of the cytoskeleton in neuronal cells.


Pico Caroni has been a senior group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI) for Biomedical Research and a professor of neurobiology at the Biozentrum/The Center for Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Basel since 1995. He studied biochemistry at ETH Zürich and subsequently worked on regeneration in the central nervous system in Martin Schwab’s lab at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich. Since 1989, Caroni has been a researcher at the FMI – first as a junior group leader – studying the plasticity of defined neuronal circuits and systems. He is interested not only in the fundamentals of learning and memory but also in the impact of gene mutations on the circuits and the resulting mental disorders.


Martin Oestreich has been Professor of Organic Chemistry (Synthesis & Catalysis) at TU Berlin since 2011. His appoitment was supported through an Einstein professorship by the Einstein Foundation Berlin. He studied chemistry at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Manchester, and Marburg (1991–1996) and received his doctoral degree at the University of Münster (1996–1999). After a postdoctoral stint at the University of California at Irvine (1999–2001), he completed his habilitation at the University of Freiburg (2001–2005). Martin Oestreich was Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Münster from 2006 until 2011. Visiting professorships took him to Cardiff (2005), Canberra (2010), and Kyoto (2018). His research interest range from homogeneous catalysis with main-group elements to elucidation of reaction mechanisms.


Hartmut Michel studied Biochemistry at the Universities of Tübingen and Munich. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Würzburg in 1977 and habilitated in 1988 at the University of Munich. Since 1987 he is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics at Frankfurt/Main, where he leads the Department for Molecular Membrane Biology. In 1988, Hartmut Michel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, together with Johannes Deisenhöfer and Robert Huber, for their investigation of the molecular structure of the photosynthesis reaction center in the rhodopseudomonas viridis bacterium.


Carmen Buchrieser is currently Professor at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. She obtained her PhD from the University Salzburg, Austria, conducted postdoctoral trainings at the University of Madison, Wisconsin, USA and at the Institut Pasteur, Paris France. She is heading a research group at the Intitut Pasteur studying bacterial pathogenesis. Her major research interest is to understand how bacteria cause disease: what are the genetic factors conferring bacterial virulence, how do they evolve, what are the mechanisms by which they allow subverting host functions and more generally how do human pathogens emerge. Her team uses Legionella as a model, as these bacteria are at the crossroad between an environmental bacterium (parasite of protozoa) and a human pathogen (replicating in alveolar macrophages).


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